Rachel Simon on fiction versus memoir, writing versus speaking, and highway rest-stops

Rachel Simon’s bestselling memoir, Riding The Bus With My Sister: A True Life Journey, was adapted for a 2005 Hallmark Hall of Fame movie starring Rosie O’Donnell and Andie MacDowell, with Anjelica Huston directing. The book garnered numerous awards and is a much beloved selection of many book clubs, school reading programs, and city-wide reads throughout the country. Its success led to Rachel developing a second career in professional speaking, and…

Saturday, October 31, 2009
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Let’s Dance by Deb Joelle

I love Halloween. With a background in theatre, a glue gun, and duct tape, I can make any costume. Whether it resembles what I had in mind or not, remains to be seen. I have dressed as a tree sprite, Pippi Longstocking, Tigger, a baseball clown, a cat, a butterfly, and more…and yes, this is all in the last fifteen years. However, I thought for today’s post, it might be…

Friday, October 30, 2009
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A Halloween tribute to my granny

In our house, we basically celebrate Halloween all the time.  My husband makes sure of this by delivering the same annoying joke for 12 straight years now, and it happens whenever I pick up a broom (which is at least once a week depending on my energy level and how many Starbucks lattes I’ve had). Anyhow, here’s how it goes down. I’m usually going about my business at home, chasing…

Thursday, October 29, 2009
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Trick or hiiiiii-ya!

Martial arts movies are an unapologetically over-the-top art form, and I deeply appreciate them. Jackie Chan’s one of my favorite kung fu stars. When I watch him spinning like a cyclone to ward off a gang of axe-wielding thugs, I feel grateful and empowered. Performers like Chan promulgate potent ideas — namely, that justice really does prevail, and that evil is instantly recognizable, and can be defeated with cheesy humor…

Wednesday, October 28, 2009
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Halloween is the most magical time, for Deb Sarah

Years ago, I was working as a feature writer for The Baltimore Sun newspaper when an editor told me to go find a Halloween story. I think my editor had a vague idea of me interviewing a father who was trying to convince his kids to not get a violent, bloody costume — or maybe a modern Mom who wanted her daughter to dress up like a brain surgeon instead…

Tuesday, October 27, 2009
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The White Dress, by Deb Emily

I tried it on just for fun. I was fifteen years old, from New Jersey, in a London department store with my parents. We weren’t really shopping; we were having a “cultural experience” and just looking around.  Mom checked out raincoats. I wandered into formalwear. One dress called to me, so I took it into a fitting room. I tried it on, admired myself, and took it off again. I…

Monday, October 26, 2009
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Newsflash, October 25th

Deb Sarah and Graduate Deb Jenny Gardiner will be speaking at the Virginia Festival of the Book in March 2010! Graduate Deb Meredith will be appearing on The Writing Show in Richmond Virginia, Thursday, October 29th at 6:30 PM on the panel “An Evening with Three Mystery Masters,” hosted by the James River Writers at the Children’s Museum. Graduate Deb Kristina talked recently about “Sense of Place in Fiction” at the…

Sunday, October 25, 2009
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Laura Whitcomb and the magic of Halloween

We’re delighted to welcome Laura Whitcomb to the Debutante Ball today. Laura’s the author of two young adult novels: A Certain Slant of Light, which has been optioned for a movie by Warner Brothers; and The Fetch, which Booklist called “fascinating” and “exquisitely imagined” in a starred review. She co-wrote the popular writing how-to, Your First Novel, with literary agent Ann Rittenberg. And Laura’s most recent how-to, Novel Shortcuts, was…

Saturday, October 24, 2009
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Maybe too calm, cool, and collected by Deb Joelle

It has been said that I am patient. I know that’s true. And it’s a very good thing if you want to be a writer because really, not even immigration is slower than publishing. And it’s slow. Trust me. When we applied for permanent residency in Canada, they received our application, opened it up, cashed the cheque for processing fees, gave us a number, and proceeded to ignore us for…

Friday, October 23, 2009
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Book deals and Kanye West

Let’s see.. Its been a long time. My memory is quite fuzzy. If I recall, I had just gone on a massive drug bender with Ozzy Osbourne, destroyed a couple hotel rooms, got into a brawl with Kanye West -after he upstaged me at an awards show- (Beyonce was apalled) suffered multiple injuries in the incident, and was eventually left for dead on a dirt road just outside of Nevada…

Thursday, October 22, 2009
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